Top o’ the Morning to You!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! (Or Amateur Day, as my friend Kate Martin loves to call it.) This is the highest of holy days for us lucky Irish folks so it was difficult to decide what organization I would honor today.

Thanks to Ginger O’Neill’s eagle Irish eyes, I’ve uncovered something which perfectly expresses the Irish heart, talent and temperament:. The 8th Annual 3-Legged Charity Race in Copenhagen, Denmark, to benefit BORNEfonden, a Danish children’s charity that’s been in existence since 1972 and appears to be a fine organization, but I really have no idea since the entire website is in Danish.

Serious race contestant

The 3-Legged Race has got everything you need for St. Patty’s Day– drinking, camaraderie, heart-warming appeal, and the potential for minor bodily injury. But frankly, I’m choosing this event because it just looks like a ridiculous amount of fun (an Irish requirement). Participants register at 1 pm, get their legs tied together at 2 pm, and start drinking at 3 pm, before running from pub to pub. Who knew Copenhagen was such a hotbed of Irish pubbery?? And who but the Irish would slap such fine literary references like The Globe, Bloomsday and The Dubliner on drinking establishments? The website includes pre-race workout tips like “Identifying your drink” and “The Elbow Bend.” The only snafu is that the required drinking is a ½ pint of Carlsberg lager at each of the 6 pubs – what? No Jameson’s? No Guinness??

My lovely Irish Dad

St. Patrick’s Day was my mom’s favorite holiday, even though she was French & German, because my Dad was 100% Irish. Shanty Irish, not lace-curtain, meaning his family would have doubtless starved to death if they hadn’t immigrated to the USA. My mom taught all eight of us to do the Irish Jig (yes, I can still do it) and we’d all perform for him on The Big Day, while we listened to Bing Crosby and my dad had his daily Manhattan cocktail.

I’m going to leave you with the lyrics to my dad’s favorite Irish song – that are just as sappy & satisfying today as ever:

When Irish eyes are smiling,

Sure, ’tis like the morn in Spring.

In the lilt of Irish laughter

You can hear the angels sing.

The olde sod

When Irish hearts are happy,

All the world seems bright and gay.

And when Irish eyes are smiling,

Sure, they steal your heart away.

(Lyrics by Chauncey Olcott & George Graff, Jr.)